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First Indigenous Fuel Cell System developed by CSIR

  Jun 30, 2020

First Indigenous Fuel Cell System developed by CSIR

Why in news?

The first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System has been developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries under India’s flagship program named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI).” A unique example of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

What is a fuel cell?

A Fuel cell converts the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electricity by electrochemical reactions.

A fuel cell resembles a battery in many respects, but it can supply electrical energy over a much longer period of time. This is because a fuel cell is continuously supplied with fuel and air (or oxygen) from an external source, whereas a battery contains only a limited amount of fuel material and oxidant that are depleted with use. For this reason, fuel cells have been used for decades in space probes, satellites, and manned spacecraft.

Simple equation for a fuel cell which contains Hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as oxidizer.

Oxygen + Hydrogen = Heat + Electricity + Water

What is High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by CSIR?

 It is 5.0 kW fuel cell system that generates power in a green manner using methanol / bio-methane as source of fuel(hydrogen) with heat and water as bi-products for further use. It gives 70% efficiency, which otherwise may not be possible by other energy sources.

The Fuel Cells developed are based on High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) Technology.

What are uses and significance of this High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by CSIR?

Uses

  1. The development is most suitable for distributed stationary power applications like; for small offices, commercial units, data centers etc. 
  2. This system will also meet the requirement of efficient, clean and reliable backup power generator for telecom towers, remote locations and strategic applications as well. 

Significance

This development would replace Diesel Generating (DG) sets and help reduce India’s dependence on crude oil. In the field of clean energy, Fuel Cell distributed power generation systems are emerging as promising alternative to grid power. The Fuel Cells fit well in India’s mission of replacing diesel with green and alternate fuels. The development of fuel cell technology is indigenous and carries immense national importance in terms of non-grid energy security. The developed technology is world class and the development has placed India in the league of developed nations which are in possession of such a knowledge base.

What is New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)?

The New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) is the largest public-private-partnership effort within the R&D domain in the country run by CSIR. It looks beyond today’s technology and thus seeks to build, capture and retain for India a leadership position by synergizing the best competencies of publicly funded R&D institutions, academia and private industry. The Government finances and plays a catalytic role

Objective 

NMITLI seeks to catalyze innovation centered scientific and technological developments as a vehicle to attain for Indian industry a global leadership position, in selected niche areas in a true ‘Team India’ spirit, by synergizing the best competencies of publicly funded R&D institutions, academia and private industry.

CSIR

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India, a premier national R&D organization, is among the world's largest publicly funded R&D organization. CSIR's pioneering sustained contribution to S&T human resource development is acclaimed nationally. It is presided by PM of India and comes under purview of Ministry of Science and technology.